It's been blowing gale force winds since we arrived in Cape Town at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times … enough of the wind already! Poor Nine of Cups is on a tight leash. The doubled-up docklines stretch and strain and groan. The wind shrieks through the rigging. The boat rocks. There's a loose halyard on a nearby boat that about drives us insane with its banging.
Last time we were here I remember asking a Cape Town sailor about the weekly sailing competitions at the yacht club. “It's blowing 35 knots, are you still going out?” I inquired incredulously. With a grin on his face and in a rather blasé tone, he replied “If we waited till it was less than 35 knots, we'd never sail.” And so it is in Cape Town. Chicago and Wellington have nothing on this windy city. The flag's flying straight out all the time.
It's late in the season and there's no one in the berths on either side of us. The short, narrow finger pier for boarding tilts precariously with each big gust. When walking up to the clubhouse, which is predictably a mile away for visiting yachts, it's a challenge to just keep ourselves from being blown away.
Lest you think I'm whinging for nothing, we've seen consistent 30-35 knots for the past 3-4 days with little respite. Gusts have topped out near 60 knots. That's really a lot of wind. We sailors prefer 15-20 knots when we're actually sailing and little to no wind at all when we're berthed. We have things to do and with 35 knot winds, climbing the mast is out of the question (unless you're a Cape Town sailor, that is).
A few positive notes … we will not lose our sea legs while we're berthed here. Cape Town is one of the most vibrant, beautiful cities in the world. And … the view from Nine of Cups ain't bad!